Isle of Wright, UK, Oct 4, 2017 -- Money has been ploughed into the Isle of Wight council’s contact centre to reduce waiting times to speak to someone from 40 minutes to two minutes.
Residents are now waiting only a short time when phoning the Isle of Wight Council after extra funding was ploughed into its contact centre.
The improvements mean people should speak to someone in two minutes on average by December with the operation already close to that target, a report to councillors has said.
The money was earmarked to bolster the contact centre’s technology and hire handlers as some residents were waiting up to 40 minutes to speak to staff at the start of this year.
Leader of the council Dave Stewart vowed to tackle the issue over fears some vulnerable people could not get through to seek help.
Unacceptable waiting times
Councillor Stewart said, "The time people were waiting to speak to our staff just a few months ago was unacceptable and I’m now delighted this substantial improvement has taken place.
"I said the council would tackle this problem and we have. It is money well spent.
"Making sure vulnerable people can contact us is a priority as our research shows one in four callers are aged over 65 and many others do not use the internet.
"Full credit must go to our staff who have worked really hard to get to this point and I hope they are very proud of this achievement because I am proud of them."
Councillor Stewart explained that the council’s Website continues to be improved to make it much easier for residents, who are online, to find information and to make transactions quickly so they do not call the council. 65 per cent of forms are completed online already; while the range of services and ways that residents can access those services digitally, continues to be expanded.
Other work to reduce call volumes include Visit Isle of Wight agreeing to the transfer of tourism calls and courses are currently being run by the council for over 65s wishing to improve their IT skills.
Leader: "Still much to do"
Councillor Stewart added, "There is still much to do to improve our service and its technology and work will continue into the new year to ensure this happens.
"We need to make it easier to use our website but it’s also clear from our research that many people need to be able to call us and this will continue."
The council contact centre report is before the Scrutiny Committee on 10 October.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Date Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017
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